Timberview gridiron duo selected for U.S. Army All-American Bowl

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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If you had asked Timberview’s standout defensive backs Ed Paris and Brandon Simmons prior to this season how many games they were hoping to play in their senior year, they probably would have said 16 – which is the number of games required for an appearance in the 5A state championship game.

But now they need to change their answer to 17 games, because both have been selected to play in the 2014 U.S. Army All-American Bowl – a prestigious showcase of some of the most talented high school recruits in the country.

“I think everything they’ve done and accomplished over their career allows this this opportunity,” Timberview coach James Brown said. “Beyond the football part of it, both of those guys are great leaders and have shown a lot of character since we got here, and they continue that today as seniors.”

The U.S. Army All-American bowl takes place at the San Antonio Alamodome on Jan. 4 and will be televised nationally on NBC. A special ceremony will be held at Timberview this Thursday to honor Paris and Simmons on their selections. Both players were humbled by the announcement.

“It’s a tremendous honor,” Paris said. “It’s a prestigious game. It’s a huge honor for me and my family because some of my family has served in the U.S. Army.”

“I grew up watching the Army All-American game since I was little, always dreaming to be a part of that,” Simmons added. “So, now that I have the opportunity to be a part of it, it’s a complete honor. I’m excited and ready to go out there and have fun.”

It will be the final game the teammates play together. Afterward, Paris is headed off to LSU while Simmons is committed to Stanford. So the two plan to take advantage of this opportunity for one last hurrah.

“We talk about it all the time,” Simmons said. “It’s going to just be like another day in the backyard, just out there having fun on a national stage.”

“That’s really cool,” Paris said of getting one last game with Simmons. “Brandon is like my brother. I wish he’d go to LSU with me.”

Paris and Simmons are key reasons the Wolves are off to a 4-0 start this season, including a 34-7 victory over Grand Prairie to open District 7-5A play last Friday.

“They control the secondary; they control the calls,” Brown said of his defensive leaders. “They have ability to make the calls and get guys in the right places and mentor the younger kids and push them to a higher level. That’s really important.

“I think their presence at practice is even more important than their presence on Friday night. The things they do Monday through Thursday gets our kids prepared and ready to go. They allow us to have a little more freedom up front and do some things as far as blitzes go.”

Brown arrived at Timberview prior to last season, when Paris and Simmons were both juniors. Immediately they jumped out to Brown and his staff.

“Ed’s size and his speed, and the things he brings to the table athleticism-wise, are just unbelievable,” Brown said. “He’s one of the biggest, most physical looking defensive backs I think I’ve ever seen. He definitely stood out in that sense.

“Brandon has great feet and he’s got good hips, and most importantly, when he gets on the football field he’s really physical.”

Since his initial impressions of them, Brown has also learned there’s more to their game than athletic ability.

“They’re both great young men,” he added. “Both take care of their business on the classroom and off the field. They’re very team-oriented. We don’t hear about LSU and Stanford right now, we hear about Timberview and the things we’re doing.”

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